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F The Regulations !

Press release April 4, 2008 Construction

Companies with air conditioning ignoring EU ‘green’ regulations

It may sound like the war cry of an angst 70's teenage punk, but the reality is that the European Unions F Gas Regulations are being flouted by many respectable businesses, facilities managers, and building maintenance companies in the UK, often quite unintentionally.

Air conditioning and refrigeration systems have been branded the 'bad boys' of building services, at least where care for the environment is concerned. As a result the European Unions F Gas Regulations came into force on 4 July 2006 with the purpose of minimising the impact on the environment and global warming due to the emissions of refrigerants. The 'blood' of an air con or refrigeration system.

The regulations make companies/individuals accountable for the leaks/potential leaks from their systems. You may well be thinking that this is the responsibility of the company that installed the system. You would be wrong. The regulations define 'Operators' of equipment as ultimately responsible for the integrity of systems and not the engineer the end user calls 'if they need to'. Many companies are not aware of their new responsibilities and as such are inadvertantly non-compliant.

As an operator of the refrigerant handling equipment, i.e the person who benefits from its use. The user is legally obliged to do the following.
• Prevent leakage
• Arrange for proper refrigerant recovery when required – by qualified authorised personell
• Carry out leak tests
• Ensure only competent personell carry out leak tests
• Maintain records of refrigerants

Sounds a lot doesn't it? …. Well, the good news is that the end user of the equipment need only employ the service of a suitably qualified Refrigeration or Air conditioning engineer to perform routine maintenance and leak testing. 'The frequency of maintenance and leak test visits, varies on the size of the refrigerant charge in the system' according to Matthew Barnett of Acre Solutions Ltd. Matthew goes on to say that 'the efficiency of the system is maintained by routine maintenance and costly repairs can often be prevented. Implementing a maintenance program really shouldn't be seen as an unnecessary expense but a positive move for companies'.

Remember that the legal reponsibility for complying with the regulations is down to the end user of the equipment and there are serious penalties for failing to do so. So remember, before you say 'F the regulations' as any self respecting 70's punk will tell you ...'you fight the law and the law wins'!

Matthew Barnett of ACRE Solutions Ltd can be contacted on 0800 970 9122
or by email on [email protected]
visit for more information about acre solutions.